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The conference Love, Lies and Romance Scam delves into the intriguing world of online dating and the realm of romance scams. Independent curator, artist, and author, Valentina Peri guides us through an exploration of love, intimacy, and deception in the digital age.

Valentina Peri has dedicated her career to examining the role of technology in contemporary culture, with a particular focus on love and intimacy in the digital age. Her thought-provoking traveling exhibition, Data Dating, showcases the profound impact of technology on romantic relationships. By challenging our perceptions of love, desire, and connection in the era of online dating and virtual interactions, Valentina offers fresh insights into the complex dynamics of modern romance.

In 2022, Valentina embarked on a groundbreaking research project centered around the phenomenon of Internet romance scams in West Africa. These scams, also known as online dating scams, involve individuals being tricked into believing they are in a romantic relationship with someone they met online. In reality, their supposed partner is a swindler using a fake identity to gain their trust and ultimately ask money from them.

Valentina’s discoveries and firsthand experiences in Ghana are chronicled in her thought-provoking book, The New Romance Scammer’s Instructor, published in 2022. This insightful publication presents a collection of original messages from Ghanaian love scammers, shedding light on their deceptive practices. Valentina’s main focus is on exploring contemporary love language through digital tools and creating a bridge with the tradition of love letter-writing manuals from the 18th and 19th centuries. These manuals, known as The Lover’s Instructor in the UK, Secrétarie Galant in France, and Segretario Galante in Italy, offered guidance on composing love letters, providing examples, templates, and tips for lovers lacking linguistic prowess or imagination.

Continuing her research in 2023, Valentina ventured into Ivory Coast, a French-speaking country, where she collected romantic texts used by “les brouteurs” (scammers in nouchi language) of the capital Abidjan and conducted interviews with a group of these romance fraudsters.
She is currently working on a new book, resulting from the results gained during this fieldwork.


Valentina Peri’s expertise and firsthand research will provide unique insights into the fascinating realms of the complexities of love, deceit, and the digital landscape in the context of online dating.

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